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Mark Benton honoured to receive degree from Teesside University
A STRICTLY Come Dancing star waltzed off with a huge smile on his face after picking up a special honour from his hometown university.
Mark Benton was back in his native North-East to be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Teesside University today (Tuesday, December 3).
The actor, who has recently toured the UK with Hairspray the Musical and is best known for roles in dramas including Early Doors, Northern Lights and Barbara, was kicked off Strictly Come Dancing at the weekend after losing out on his fourth dance off.
However, the Grangetown-born actor says the recognition from the university has capped off a great year for him.
He said: "I feel proud to be receiving this honour at Teesside University. I heard about it and was thrilled and immediately accepted it.
"I'm very proud of this area and to get a degree from my hometown university means an awful lot. I'm really proud and thrilled and amazed - it's the perfect ending to a great year.
"It has been a real journey this year and for me to end it this way is great. It's such a nice thing to do. There's no end to it and there's no game - it's just a lovely gift.
"The universitys got a fantastic reputation hasn't it and it's got a really modern approach. It's really getting up there and putting Teesside on the map."
Also receiving an honorary Doctorate of Letters today was author Richard Milward, the young, highly-renowned author of Apples, Ten Storey Love Song and, most recently, Kimberly's Capital Punishment.
His writing has appeared in numerous publications and his books have been translated into nine languages.
The author, from Middlesbrough is a leading cultural ambassador for the town.
Television star and Teesside University honorary graduate Wendy Craig, from Picton near Yarm, was also there today awarding the first of her new performing arts graduation prizes to two deserving graduates.
The star of late 70s and early 80s sitcom Butterflies and more latterly The Royal, presented the prizes to Steven Bridges and Farhaan Sheikh.
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